Tag: schools

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Meritocracy Is Not the Problem

 

George Packer’s recent jeremiad in The Atlantic offers an object lesson on the disarray of modern progressive thought. Packer’s essay, about K-12 education in New York City, rails against two enemies: “a brutal meritocracy and a radical new progressivism,” which, he argues, are ripping apart the social fabric of New York City. His exhaustive lament, detailing his and his wife’s desperate effort to navigate a broken system for their two children, lacks any systematic analysis of the institutional forces driving the problems he identifies. He also never questions his deep faith in an enlightened social welfare state.

He begins the essay pointing to the painful experience of parents who spent a cold February night in sleeping bags outside the schoolhouse door in order to obtain places for their children in a desirable public preschool whose slots are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Packer attributes this extreme behavior to the “organized pathologies of adults” who have surrendered to the brutal meritocracy.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. That’s How I Roll

 

Tuesday’s bike ride was a 50-miler(*) from Sidney to North Lewisburg, Ohio. It was my closest ever approach to Columbus from the west, by any means of transportation. Along the way, I took photos at four township halls.

I had hoped one of them might be a picturesque old schoolhouse. There are some like that in Ohio and other parts of the Old Northwest. But today’s were all pole barns, broadly defined. These are usually less interesting, but one of the sites did have some traces of the old connection between township government and schools, from the days before school districts became independent of local governments, for better or worse.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Oregon Bureaucrats Play Politics with School Ratings

 

OPB on Oregon school ratings:

The full summaries of Oregon school ratings are out, after attempts to delay their release until after the November election drew public outcry this week.

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One of the improvement goals of the small school I work for is to pursue grants to fund needs for library, science lab, and technology. These can be costly endeavors difficult to fund from the general budget. Well, there’s sports too, I suppose. Uniforms, weight room, ball fields, locker rooms, equipment—these are important in the life […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Beginning with Columbine High School in Colorado, there have been all too many school shootings and related violence either by students or former students. Most of the shooters failed to survive the experience to explain why they did what they did. But with the latest shooting in Santa Fe, TX, we understand that the kid was unhappy […]

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Where have we heard this before? Mayor Durkan hasn’t even held office for 6 months yet, and has proposed a new, larger, property tax levy. This is copied from the KOMO-Seattle Web site. Mayor Durkan proposes education levy to expand preschool program, access to college by KOMO Staff More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are not all surprised by President Trump firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson given their distant relationship and they hope Mike Pompeo can be effective as America’s top diplomat. They also unload on Hillary Clinton after her ugly overseas explanations that Trump won the […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. All They Need Is a Name

 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve felt ill-at-ease about the shootings at Parkland in a way that went far beyond the deaths and desperation that has followed the episode. I finally put my finger on my perceptions. And it raised great concern for me. Let me summarize first what has been happening nationwide regarding the shootings, students, and protests.

Students are obviously in great emotional pain and are motivated to take action following the traumatic experience of the shootings. They have come together for a primary cause. They have made the National Rifle Association their primary focus/scapegoat, and secondarily the legislature. They are saying to everyone that you are either anti-gun or against their teens. Companies have boycotted the NRA. Those who didn’t support the calls for new legislation are the enemy. Hundreds of students and adults all over the country have organized protests. Millions of dollars have been donated to their cause, including GoFundMe sites, many of which are for the survivors and their families; included with the donors are Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, and his wife.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Assimilation Is Stigmatized: Let’s Write a New Narrative

 

The United States has always taken pride in its ability to assimilate its new immigrants, creating an exciting and diverse fabric for the American ethos. Lately, though, there has been much discussion about the unwillingness of immigrants, legal or not, to assimilate into this country. I began to think about the meaning of assimilating, what it used to define and what has changed. It became clear to me that this is an issue that must be addressed and that may be even more serious than immigration problems themselves.

What does it mean to be absorbed or integrated into the culture?

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Do you know what all the women above have in common? They are all teachers, at K-12 level, who have been arrested for having sexual relationships with their students. All of those students were under 18 years of age. A teacher has power over her students, so can order them to do things that they […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dealing With The Angry Autistic Child – It Ain’t Easy

 

A video has surfaced on FoxNews from Florida about an officer who was fired for his apparent mishandling of the unruly behavior of an Autistic boy in a school which prompted me to respond with the following.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Due to the clamoring of hundreds of you, I have written this post on the topic of American Education. Well okay, it wasn’t hundreds of you. Okay it was my mom. Recent news stories and Ricochet discussions about all the little Special Snowflakes falling like a blizzard on every college campus have made me think […]

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This is part of a series on how to have a decent day as a substitute teacher. I’ll post links to the series in the comment section later.  When you arrive to teach a class as an outsider, what pull do you have with students? This diverse group of kids will be yours from approximately 8:30 […]

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There are two common student behaviors that seem benign, but are obstacles to a smooth-running day. In Techniques Five and Six of “Maintaining Your Stated Expectations,” I’ll explore these behaviors and demonstrate why allowing them causes disruption. You’ll learn one or two preventative measures, too.  More

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We’re in Step Five of having a calm, productive day as a substitute teacher, and we haven’t even talked about teaching math or literature or writing yet. So far, you’ve adopted a teacher mindset, staked out your territory, prepared for the day, and taken a proactive approach as the students entered the room. Yet in this series, […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Special Snowflakes Run Amok

 

shutterstock_204017278The New York Times recently published an article that provides a glimpse into the microaggression movement currently infecting college campuses. The article profiles Sheree Marlowe, the chief diversity officer at Clark University, where she teaches incoming freshmen how to identify and avoid microaggressions. Here are a few tips Marlowe provided to the students attending one of her recent “training” sessions:

  • Don’t ask an Asian student you don’t know for help on your math homework.
  • Don’t say “you guys.” It could be interpreted as leaving out women.
  • Don’t randomly ask a black student if he plays basketball.
  • Don’t’ show surprise when a “feminine” woman says she is a lesbian.
  • Don’t say “Everyone can succeed in this society if they work hard enough.” (This is a microinvalidation.)

Marlowe knows her stuff. Just ask her. Or does she? Consider this exchange she had with a student:

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You’re a substitute teacher on the morning of an assignment. You’ve embraced your teacher identity, you know your territory, and you’ve prepared for the day* by reading over the plans the night before and maximizing that thirty minutes after arrival. Now the bell has rung, and you’re on. What’s next? Step 4: Start smoothly. In order […]

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A previous post described how the first steps to a decent day of substituting involved embracing your teacher identity and knowing your territory. Now keep in mind a third step when it’s nearly time to drive to the campus and begin your assignment. Step 3: Prepare for the students.  More

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You were just appointed to take over a professional’s class for an entire day. It’s you who will be keeping a couple dozen children calm, learning, and safe for seven hours. You also wouldn’t mind if your charges actually enjoyed some of the time with you. And, it’d be a bonus if the teacher felt that […]

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Using the threat of withholding federal funds (that was sent by the states!) to force 99.7% of the school population to swallow their discomfort and allow ‘transgender’ persons to use any restroom/locker rooms at any time is going nowhere. Texas has already said, NO!, Indiana may have, and Limbaugh just read part of the letter […]

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